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Did you know that your self-image in selling is a key part of your personality? Your self-image is the way you think about yourself and is often called your "inner mirror."

You look into this mirror in every situation to see how you should perform on the outside. You always behave on the outside in a manner consistent with the picture you have of yourself on the inside.

How Do You See Yourself

For example, do you see yourself, as calm, confident and competent in any aspect of selling? If you do, you will feel calm, confident and competent. You will be positive and happy. You will perform well and get excellent results. If, for any reason, it doesn't go well at that time, you will throw it off and dismiss it as a temporary situation. Your self-image is clear. In your mind's eye you see yourself as good and capable in that area, and nothing can interfere with your mental picture.

Change Your Self-Image

The most rapid improvements in sales results come from changing your self-image. The moment that you see yourself differently, you behave differently as well. And because you are behaving differently, you get different results.

My Own Story

Some years ago, when I was selling club memberships from office to office, I would end my presentation by giving the prospect a booklet outlining the membership benefits and encourage him to "think about it." My self-image was such that I could not bring myself to ask the prospect to make a buying decision. All day long, I would go from office to office giving my presentation and leaving a little book with descriptions to read. And as you might imagine, I was not making any sales. When I called people back after they had time to think about it, they would invariably say that they were not interested.

The Turning Point

I was getting desperate. I was living from hand to mouth at the time. Although I was seeing lots of prospects, I was making very few sales. Then I had a revelation which changed my career at the time. I realized that it was my fear of asking for the order that was causing all my problems. It was not my prospects. It was me. I needed to change my self-image and thereby change my behavior if I wanted results to improve.

Make A Decision

The very next morning, I made the decision that I would not call back on a prospect. The size of the purchase was small and, when I had completed my presentation, the prospect would know everything that he needed to know to make a decision. There was no benefit or advantage of leaving material behind or giving the prospect several days to think about it. At my very first call, and I still remember it, when I had finished my presentation, the prospect said, "Let me think it over." I smiled and told him that I did not make call backs because I was too busy, and then I said, "You know everything you need to know to make a decision right now. Why don't you just take it?" I remember him shrugging his shoulders and saying, "OK. I'll take it. How would you like to be paid?"

Double Your Earnings

I walked out of that office on a cloud. That very day I tripled my sales. That week, I sold more than anyone else in the company. By the end of the month, they had made me the sales manager with 42 people under me. I went from making one or two sales per week to making ten or fifteen sales per week. I went from worrying about money to a large salary with an override on the activities of all my salespeople. My sales life took off and, with few exceptions, it never stopped. And the turning point was that conscious choice to modify my self-image and make it more consistent with the results I wanted rather than the results that I was getting.

Action Exercises

Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, begin to see yourself the way you want to be. See yourself as strong, confident, competent and professional in every way. The person you see is the person you will be.

Second, identify an area of selling where your own ideas about yourself and the situation are holding you back. You always perform on the outside the way you see yourself on the inside.

                       
Brian Tracy

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